The Centro de Agricultura Regenerativa de la Huasteca and the Instituto Technologico de Ciudad Valles have started off the year with expanded collaboration on multiple fronts. Student intern Adrian Hernandez started his work at the center on 25 January. He will be working with us at the center on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of each week through June. Adrian is in his final year of ecological engineering studies and will perform his mandatory six months of professional practice at the center.
The title of Adrian’s project is “Evaluation of the impact of vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides) on soil erosion and water quality.” Fortunately, his project meshes well with the center’s grant from the US Department of Agriculture aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of vetiver grass barriers in preventing agrochemical runoff from reaching the nearby river. Adrian will work with us on multiple facets of vetiver grass production and use, with a strong focus on collecting data related to runoff prevention.
During the second week of January, Rosa Maria Jimenez, PhD of the Tecnologico’s business development department accompanied center staff on a trip to visit indigenous vanilla producers and Melipona beekeepers in the Huasteca region. We spent the day at a family business that produces and processes vanilla beans and on a side trip to see challenges faced by one of the region’s more than 200 small-scale producers.
The trip resulted in a tentative collaboration agreement that offers business development support from the Tecnologico and indigenous support for a vanilla production project to be launched within the next year at the regenerative center.